Short answer: of course! No one, or no organization is perfect, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Organization) is no exception. A lot of homeowners think that FEMA has mislabeled their property within a flood zone, and sometimes, they have! We have seen it happen before. It is a long shot but there are times when the official maps are wrong.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE MAPS ARE WRONG?
Of course there is a process to having your property reviewed to see if the mapping is, in fact, incorrect. We often refer clients to John Roberge of Roberge Associates Coastal Engineers. His firm is one of a select few coastal engineers who can write a letter to FEMA re-designating the flood zone. These letters are called a LOMA, or Letter of Map Amendment.
EXPLAIN THIS “LOMA”
A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is an official amendment, by letter, to an effective National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map. A LOMA establishes a property’s location in relation to the flood hazard zones. LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is naturally on high ground above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
You can see in this photo how FEMA has updated their maps to exclude this property within the VE Flood Zone. Stating “LOMR effective 10/7/2016.” LOMR meaning Letter of Map Revision.
MAKING IT OFFICIAL
Because the LOMA officially amends the effective NFIP map, it is a public record that the community must maintain. Any LOMA should be noted on the community’s master flood map. Sounds easy, right? While the process may be seemingly straightforward, it can take quite some time to get your property out of a flood zone through a LOMA. But the time may be worth it, you’re sure to save some money staying outside of a flood zone.
If you’re wondering if you’re apart of the exception, give us a call for a coastal consultation!